I grew up in the country in an old farm house on 12+ acres of land. And while I have become a city girl, much of that country has stayed with me. One of the things I miss is the fresh vegetables from my mom’s garden. Fortunately, I have that enormous farmer’s market just down the street every Saturday. But … Read More
A few years ago I was walking down the hall at work on St. Patrick’s Day, and I ran into my boss. He said “You are in so much trouble.” Then he paused. In that split second pause, I ran through a list of things in my head that he might be talking about. What had I done that I … Read More
Cupcakes are the perfect dessert. Just the right size with just the right frosting-to-cake ratio. Easy to serve with no need for cutting a cake into messy pieces that fall apart.
How best to eat them becomes the question. Peel off the entire wrapper, or only one side? Fingers or fork or spoon? Frosting first or all at once? How do you deal with the frosting all over your fingers or face?
Check out the foodbeast.com video after the jump for instructions on how to eat a cupcake like a gentleman.
That’s right, December 15 is National Cupcake Day. Not to be confused with National Chocolate Cupcake Day on October 18, or National Vanilla Cupcake Day on November 10. I’m not sure who invents these holidays, but I will take any excuse to celebrate those wonderful little cakes we have all loved since childhood. And while their popularity may wax and … Read More
I’ve never been a fan of beach vacations. My pale Irish skin hates the sun, I don’t like swimsuits, and I hate sweating. We have always taken ski vacations in the winter, and even our honeymoon was to Maine in the fall. But when we got the chance to take a sailing vacation in the British Virgin Islands, I knew … Read More
I promise this story is actually related to the cupcakes.
For as long as we have known each other, my husband and I have talked about someday retiring to Maine and having a sailboat. Despite having never actually been on a sailboat. So last year I signed us both up for sailing lessons for his birthday. Next thing I know we own a small boat, and belong to a sailing club. In inland Ohio – strange, I know.
Our instructor offered to show us how to rig up our new boat, so we scheduled a time to meet him at the club. He helped us set her up, and introduced us to Peter, another member (and officer) of the club who happened to be there. Once the boat was ready to go, we figured we should go sailing.
A few weeks ago I mentioned to a friend that I had been enlisted to make a cake and cupcakes for a birthday party, which resulted in a longer discussion about my my penchant for baking. He asked if I ever made whipped cream frosting, and I told him that I have, but that I generally prefer to use an Italian meringue buttercream. The rest of the conversation went something like this:
“I don’t like buttercream.”
“Yes you do.”
“No I don’t.”
“Yes you do.”
“No I don’t.”
“Yes you do. You’ve just only had American buttercream. And American buttercream doesn’t count.”
So the following week I brought him a chocolate cupcake with Italian meringue buttercream, along with a small tub of extra frosting just in case. Then I watched as he not only ate the cupcake, but continued to scoop extra frosting out of the tub with each bite. He was amazed. Not only does he not hate buttercream, but this buttercream warranted joyous exclamations and enthusiastic comparisons to more…carnal pleasures.
Years ago, before I knew about the various types of buttercream frosting, I still got complements on cupcakes with homemade American buttercream. Because anything is better than frosting from the grocery store shelf, or the grocery store bakery. But after making my first batch of meringue buttercream, I can never go back.
This is my new favorite chocolate cake. It has a pleasantly dense texture that just melts in your mouth, with a rich chocolate flavor and wine that you can taste. Combined with the smooth sweetness of Italian meringue buttercream, plus a drizzle of red wine chocolate syrup, it’s divine. I wasn’t in the mood for a cupcake when I put these together, but after the first bite I couldn’t stop.
Deb Pearlman from Smitten Kitchen is probably my favorite food blogger of all time. You can never go wrong with one of her recipes. So when I was looking for a wine and chocolate cake recipe, and found that she had one, I knew it was a winner. It’s also in her cookbook, which we should all buy right now. And you should read the story on her blog that accompanies the recipe, because it’s rather great.
I have a confession to make. I am a wasteful cutter and peeler. I have no patience for carefully peeling away just enough skin on potatoes and carrots. And I don’t properly remove the hulls from strawberries. I just chop the tops off, wasting what I’m sure is perfectly good fruit. I’m going to order a strawberry huller right now … Read More